‘Speakers Corner’ at St Paul’s is where we look at morality in public life. We’ve had some high profile speakers in the past, including Ann Widdecombe, Claudia Sturt (Deputy Director Prison Service), and General the Lord Dannatt (ex Chief of the Defence Staff).
This time around, Lynne Owens - Chief Constable of Surrey, was of the same high calibre, attracting over 200 people to hear about morality in the police force. She did joke she was disappointed not to have topped the attendance figure of Ann, but she needn’t have worried. I had a chat with organiser, Ivar Hellberg who said “Lynne was brilliant with such a sharp mind and she dealt with the questions after the talk in a very direct and honest way. I feel we are very lucky to have her as our Chief Constable”, and Ivar knows his speakers.
Lynne gave us plenty to think about, with a series of illustrated modern day tongue-in-cheek stories based around the “good Samaritan” parable. Who are you in the story?
In summing up, Lynne said: “The morality of policing in this country is wholly connected to our ability to engage with the public we serve”. She outlined the importance of a partnership with the public, and went on to say: “I care passionately about the people of Surrey. I will make sure that my officers and my staff always give 100% on your behalf. I promise to always act quickly and decisively with transparency if ever we get anything wrong, and if we work together we will continue, as a team, to keep Surrey a very safe place. ”
On a side note, I have to mention Lynne has become a bit of a twitter addict (@ccLynneOwens on twitter), and is finding it an important tool. She highlighted the growing effect of social media in conveying the news.
If you missed the evening, or would like to listen again, then we’ve split her talk into two podcasts. Please do share on your favourite social network.
If you would like to be kept informed about future Speakers Corner events, then please sign up to our email list here.